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Ari Berman

Ari Berman is a senior contributing writer for The Nation magazine and a Fellow at The Nation Institute. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, was published in August 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, and he is a frequent guest and commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Photo by Ports Bishop)


  • June 10, 2008

    Fox’s “Terrorist Fist Jab”

    There's a few different ways to react to Fox News host E.D. Hill labeling Barack and Michelle Obama's fist bump in St. Paul last week as a possible "terrorist fist jab."

    1. Hill should be reprimanded for her breathtaking ignorance and cultural myopia.

    Ari Berman

  • Politics May 1, 2008

    Obama Under the Weather

    Here's a look at the roots of the campaign that seeks to discredit Barack Obama by linking him to Bill Ayers and the Chicago charity to which they each had ties.

    Ari Berman

  • April 18, 2008

    The ‘Obamican’ Phenomenon

    In early April I visited the political battleground of suburban Philadelphia to interview a bunch of former Republicans who'd registered as Democrats to vote for Barack Obama in the April 22 primary. These interviews formed the basis of my latest Nation article, "Pennsylvania's 'Obamicans.'"

    The story is largely set in Doylestown, one of Philly's oldest and most picturesque exurbs. It's a swing town in a swing area in a crucial swing state. As such, the political trends in Doylestown and the rest of Bucks County are pretty indicative of what's going on throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the country.

    The article is subscription-only on our website (so become a subscriber!), but I'm posting an edited excerpt below for the loyal readers of this blog.

    Ari Berman

  • Election 2008 April 17, 2008

    Pennsylvania’s ‘Obamicans’

    Democratic activism and Obama's campaign have turned Doylestown, Pennsylvania, from solid red to purple--maybe even blue.

    Ari Berman

  • Election 2008 March 13, 2008

    Smearing Obama

    False claims about Obama intended to stoke racial and religious fear are trickling from the far right to the mainstream media.

    Ari Berman

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  • Political Figures February 28, 2008

    The Dean Legacy

    The DNC chair has energized aging, ailing or previously nonexistent state parties.

    Ari Berman

  • Campaigns and Elections February 8, 2008

    Superdelegates 101

    The Nation's Political Correspondent breaks down who these "superdelegates" really are, and what they could mean to the Clinton/Obama race.

    Ari Berman and VideoNation

  • Election 2008 January 31, 2008

    Not So Superdelegates

    Unelected insiders may well hold the key to the 2008 Democratic nomination. How did things become so undemocratic?

    Ari Berman

  • January 18, 2008

    Clinton’s Anti-Union Allies

    Robert Johnson's nasty comments about Barack Obama earlier this week caused a huge stir in the media. Johnson issued a less-than-convincing clarification and then apologized to Obama on Thursday.

    Yet few of the stories on Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television and a top surrogate for Clinton in South Carolina, noted his controversial standing in the African-American political community. Johnson has been one of President Bush's top black allies, lobbying for the repeal of the estate tax and the privatization of Social Security, as Jonathan Chait of The New Republic reported in a 2001 profile of Johnson.

    Johnson also has a history of opposing unions that makes Clinton's allies in labor quite uncomfortable. Back in 1993, workers at BET voted to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Writer's Guild. According to an article in the Washington Afro-American, a historically black newspaper, AFL-CIO organizer Ed Feigen alleged that "during and after the election, BET violated the workers rights by offering them raises and promising benefits if they didn't join the union in."

    Ari Berman

  • Election 2008 January 18, 2008

    Racial Politics, Clinton Style

    No matter who injected the issue of race and gender into the Democratic presidential campaign, it's not going away.

    Ari Berman